For Students

Yes.

Face coverings are required at all times on University of Maine System campuses, property and facilities, both indoors and outside and if traveling on university business in a vehicle with others or engaged in official university business or activities away from campus.

The face coverings are to be of the type recommended by public health officials. These are generally made of multiple layers of cloth, which cover the nose, mouth and chin and are secured either with ear loops or with ties behind the head. For more information about styles and types of face coverings which meet the University’s requirement (and those which do not), please reference the UMS Face Covering Guide found below. Additionally, double-face masking is increasingly common. Although it is not required by the University at this time, individuals are welcome to take this additional step in keeping with guidance from public health authorities such as the CDC (more information available here).

The University asks everyone to aim for not mere technical compliance with the face covering requirement but rather to meet the spirit and intention of the face covering requirement when wearing your own face covering.

Current exceptions to the University’s face covering requirement include:

  1. When a student is in their own residence hall room with the door closed and is alone or is with only those authorized to reside there;
  2. When a residential student is engaged in personal hygiene activities in the bathroom associated with their residence hall room; when person is alone in an office or other room with a closed door;
  3. When eating or drinking in space where eating or drinking is permitted (not a classroom);
  4. When a medical accommodation has been granted by appropriate University officials;
  5. When a situation (i.e. childcare settings) or a person (i.e. children younger than 2) are specifically exempted by Maine civil authorities;
  6. While participating in activities in which a face covering cannot practically be worn, such as when part of an academic assignment requires playing an oral musical instrument and conditions are safe to do so; and
  7. In other special circumstances as may be determined by campus leadership.

The University expects all students to aspire to the conduct called for in your campus pledge for keeping yourself and your community safe. This is an important part of helping to make sure in-person instruction may continue on campus.

While the University seeks and encourages its community to come together in support of each other and our shared safety, the University also will enforce the required COVID-19 health and safety protocols for face coverings, testing participation and other protocols as necessary and warranted. Procedures already exist both for employees, in the form of existing progressive disciplinary practices, and for students, in the form of the student code of conduct (Board of Trustee Policy 501) and the code’s associated disciplinary provisions.

The student conduct code already provides for enforcement in the case, for example, of creating a dangerous condition; endangering health or safety: conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any individual; and violation of University health or safety regulations.

Again, the University’s primary focus is on all of us pulling together to keep each other safe and asks that everyone do their utmost in their own conduct to avoid the need for enforcement. Any student concerned about possible violations of this requirement may contact the respective Office of Student Life or may call 207-581-2681 to be referred to those offices on each campus. Students in a higher risk category, or with severe illness or underlying health conditions, please contact the University of Maine System American with Disabilities Act coordinator at 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System), adacoordinator@maine.edu.

Beyond the University and University activities, the CDC further recommends and the state of Maine further requires that cloth face coverings must be worn in various circumstances in Maine to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Individuals are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering in public settings in Maine in general to comply with the various orders of civil authorities and to follow the recommendations of public health experts. When circumstances are unknown or uncertain, wearing a face covering and having a cloth face covering available in case needed will allow individuals best to meet these directives and recommendations. For more information about the directives of civil authorities, please
see the COVID-19 state web site (External Link).

This pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. This information is subject to change. Students should check Together for Maine site routinely for updated information or changes in existing information.

To request a medical and other accommodations as required by law, contact your campus Disability Services Office.

(Last reviewed/updated: 02/22/2021)

UMS FACE COVERING GUIDE

(02/22/2021)

Face coverings are required at all times on University of Maine System campuses, property and facilities, both indoors and outside and if traveling on university business in a vehicle with others or engaged in official university business or activities away from campus. The chart below describes face coverings that are both allowed by and not allowed by the University.

This guide does not address respirators and other personal protective equipment required to protect the employee from exposures in the workplace. Face coverings are intended to limit transmission of disease between people, not only to protect the wearer but also to protect others.

What should cloth face coverings be made of?

In general, face coverings should have multiple layers covering the nose, mouth, and chin and be secured snugly with ear loops or ties behind the person’s head.

Reference:

Type Description Meets the University’s requirement
disposable face coverings Cloth Face Covering
“Cloth Face Covering” per Maine civil authorities is a protection that covers the nose and mouth; fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; is secured with ties or ear loops; has multiple layers of fabric which cover the nose, mouth and chin; allows for breathing without restriction; and is able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to its shape.
Clear masks, dust masks, and disposable masks (pictured), and or KN95s (non-NIOSH certification) are also appropriate as face coverings.
Yes
(See Note #1)
This category best meets the University’s requirement for face coverings on campus.
filtering masks N95 / N100 / P100 filtering facepiece (with exhalation valve) No
Any respirator that has an exhalation valve does not provide source control.
filtering masks without exhaust N95 / P100 filtering facepiece (without exhalation valve) Only with special permission and approval.
See Note #2
neck gator and bandana style masks Neck gator or bandana style covering open at bottom No
Half face and full-face respirators Half-Face and Full-Face Respirator No
See Note #3
Powered Air Purifying Respirator Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) Yes, with specific approval of appropriate university officials.
See Note #4
Face shield Face Shield No, not by itself. UMS does not allow face shields as a replacement for cloth face coverings.
They may be worn in combination with a cloth face covering.
Other methods, including homemade face masks and face shields Other methods No
  1. Employees who work in a setting where cloth face coverings may increase the risk of heat-related illness or cause safety concerns due to introduction of a hazard (for instance, straps getting caught in machinery) may contact UMS Safety Management to determine the appropriate face covering for their setting.
  2. Requires additional regulatory Respiratory Protection Program (OSHA Voluntary Use) requirements. Employees must consult with their Licensed Health Care Professional and their supervisor prior to use.
  3. These respirators have an exhalation valve that do not provide source protection. They are for workplace exposures and their use is regulated by the UMS Respiratory Protection Program.
  4. These units are not permitted generally but may be permitted with approval of the appropriate university officials if necessary for some reason as an alternative to more typical cloth face coverings.

For more information, supervisors may contact UMS Safety Management at 207-581-4055 or sem@maine.edu

Regarding classes and in person activities:

Yes, students can and should attend class in person or participate in any bona fide in-person University activities starting January 25, 2021 for the spring semester if that is the nature of the instruction. Should in-person activities be suspended for any reason, the University will communicate that news at that time.

Regarding general discretionary travel on and off-campus:

To help inhibit transmission of Covid-19, the University is asking students to limit their travel and mobility. If you are an off-campus student, please do attend any in-person classes as scheduled and report to work if you have a job or research activities on campus. Off-campus students should avoid discretionary trips to campus and those in residence on campus are asked to avoid discretionary trips off campus.

Regarding social and other in-person activities:

Maine is currently experiencing a significant surge of COVID-19. In addition to the official group gathering limits in Maine and at the University, the University also is asking students and university community members to avoid all but the smallest in-person gatherings, to shrink their personal pandemic bubble of interactions and otherwise to limit their movement to the extent feasible to help our university and broader community limit the spread of COVID-19 and continue with in-person instruction. You may find that certain campus facilities or events are curtailed or otherwise impacted as these activities may be impacted as the University prioritizes preserving in-person instruction and other academic pursuits.

(Last reviewed/updated: 1/18/2021)

The University of Maine System Student Conduct Code applies regardless of location in cases of conduct when the alleged incident or conduct seriously threatens any educational process, the legitimate function of the University, and/or the health or safety of any individual (University Student Conduct Code Section I, Jurisdiction).

Maine has been in a state of civil emergency in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Group gathering size is restricted by an Executive Order of the Governor. Elements of the group-size limitations per the executive order include:

  • Indoor Events: Must adhere to 6-foot physical distancing requirements and no more than 50 people;
  • Outdoor Events: Must adhere to 6-foot physical distancing and be limited to  no more than 5 people per 1,000 square feet of space or not more than 100 people, whichever is less;
  • Face coverings are required to be worn in public if physical distancing is not possible.

The general group gathering for University activities limit is 50 persons.

Attending or hosting and promoting a social gathering or function prohibited by any or all of the components of Maine’s group-size limitations may be deemed a health and safety violation of the UMS Student Conduct Code for endangering the health and safety of any individual.

Events subject to this UMS Student Conduct Code include but are not limited to on-campus functions, fraternity or sorority events, gatherings in public or open spaces, and parties and events hosted in private residences or venues. Violations are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Sanctions for Attending Events Prohibited by State Guidance: Disciplinary action for attending an event on or off campus that exceeds elements of Maine’s group-size limitations may include but not be limited to the following (USCC IV, Sanctions):

  • Community Service;
  • Assigned Educational Projects;
  • Disciplinary Probation; and / or
  • Disciplinary Suspension.

Sanctions for Hosting or Promoting Events Prohibited by State Guidance: Disciplinary action for hosting or promoting an event on or off campus that exceeds elements of Maine’s group-size limitations may include but not be limited to Disciplinary Suspension or Dismissal.

Rights to Peaceful Demonstration: University community members retain the right to participate in peaceful demonstrations. Organizers and participants are expected to adhere to public health mandates regarding face coverings and physical distance guidelines.

Rules to Remember: The University strongly favors education and engagement over enforcement actions. Students can help keep our communities safe and avoid disciplinary action by adhering to the following:

  • Always Cover: Wear an approved face covering in public or around others;
  • Never Host Prohibited Events: Do not invite groups of people to gather in any location that cannot accommodate group-size limitations; and,
  • Leave Right Away: If students or others gather in numbers or behave in a manner that violates group-size limitations or public health guidance, take action by removing yourself from the situation immediately.

Students and student organizations should contact Student Affairs to discuss event planning and to secure prior approval for functions.

Monitoring and Reporting: University officials are working closely with community partners, state agencies, local law enforcement, student leaders and organizations, and concerned stakeholders to protect student, employee, and community health. The University will accept and consider reports of irresponsible behavior or Conduct Code violations in the context of the pandemic from any interested party and will be monitoring social media for potential incidents of violation.

Maine civil authority group gathering and additional information: https://www.maine.gov/decd/covid-19-prevention-checklists

The University encourages all students to sign up for Direct Deposit to ensure timely processing and distribution of funds. This includes work study students who receive paychecks and students who may be due funds for other reasons. Guidance for the direct deposit registration process are available on the Update Account Information page.

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/18/2021)

In addition to taking helpful precautions to protect your physical well-being, it can also be important to maintain mental and emotional well-being. If you’re experiencing stress or adverse effects as a result of the COVID-19 virus, the US CDC publishes some information that may be helpful to you on their website (External Site).

Also available is SilverCloud, an online mental health tool available to all University of Maine System students at no cost. It offers self-guided programs for anxiety, depression, stress and resilience. Aimed at helping to address mild to moderate issues, SilverCloud allows individuals to manage day-to-day stressors personally and anonymously. The self-guided program is available any time, on any devise. The program can be accessed by UMS students at: https://umainesystem.silvercloudhealth.com (External Site).

Dial 2-1-1 Maine for information and referral to community resources or the Statewide Intentional Warm Line at 1-866-771-9276 to talk with a trained peer support specialist who has personal experience with mental health recovery.

Also, please know that you may contact your campus Counseling Services for information and scheduling:

  • University of Maine: 207-581-1392
  • University of Maine at Augusta Bangor: 207-262-7835
  • University of Maine at Augusta: 207-621-3044
  • University of Maine at Machias: 207-255 1343
  • University of Maine at Farmington: (207) 834-7822
  • University of Maine at Fort Kent: 207-778-7034
  • University of Maine at Presque Isle: 207-768-9791
  • University of Southern Maine: 207-780-5411

(Last reviewed/updated: 01/18/2021)